If you're making your bad weather part of the party by gathering under a canopy or huddling around a fire pit, that's great. If not, a major goal of bad-weather grilling is minimizing the time the chef needs to tend to the food.
Try these strategies:
- Start early. In bad weather, the grill takes longer to preheat. Charcoal takes longer to start.
- If it's cold, raise the grilling temperature by about 20 percent.
- Close the dampers on the bowl of a charcoal grill. If it's cold, more oxygen will feed the fire inside, raising the temperature. Keep the lid vents open.
- Is it windy out? If possible, turn the grill so that the wind is perpendicular to the flow of gas [source: Weber] If there's snow, jam something such as a plastic sled into a bank to make a wind break [source: Johnson]
- Guesswork is bad for grilling. Use a meat thermometer.
- Keep the lid closed. The more you open the lid, the longer the food will take to cook.
- Even if you're not constantly at the grill, keep a close watch, especially if it's windy.
Read on for suggestions of good foods to grill in bad weather.